ASVAB Sample Questions

Students taking test in class
••• Getty Images/Ariel Skelley

Taking the ASVAB unprepared can jeopardize your initial goals of getting into or obtaining your dream job in the military - take it seriously. It is important to understand the test's formats, and the type of questions asked in each of the subtests. Currently, there two ways to take the ASVAB: a shorter, computerized version, and a common paper test version. The ASVAB contains nine separately timed subtests. Here are examples of questions found in each of the ASVAB subtest areas. The number of questions and time allotted below reflect that of the paper test version.

1. General Science (GS) - General principles of biological and physical sciences - includes 25 items that are to be completed in 11 minutes

Example:

Water is an example of a:

A. Crystal
B. Solid
C. Gas
D. Liquid

2. Arithmetic Reasoning (AR) - Simple word problems that require simple calculations - includes 30 items that are to be completed in 36 minutes

Example:

If 12 men are needed to run four machines, how many men are needed to run 20 machines?

A. 20
B. 48
C. 60
D. 80

3. Word Knowledge (WK) - Correct meaning of a word (synonyms); occasionally antonyms (opposite meaning of a word) - includes 35 items that are to be completed in 11 minutes

Example:

Small most nearly means

A. sturdy.
B. round.
C. cheap.
D. little.

Or:

The wind is variable today.

A. mild.
B. steady.
C. shifting.
D. chilling.

4. Paragraph Comprehension (PC) - Questions based on the information of several paragraphs that you read - includes 15 items, which are to be completed in 13 minutes

Example:

From a building designer's standpoint, three things that make a home livable are the client, the building site, and the amount of money the client has to spend. According to this statement, to make a home livable

A. the prospective piece of land makes little difference.
B. it can be built on any piece of land.
C. design must fit the owner's income and site.
D. the design must fit the owner's income.

5. Auto and Shop information (AS) - Knowledge of automobiles, shop terminology, and tool use - includes 25 items that are to be completed in 11 minutes

Example:

A chisel is used for

A. prying.
B. cutting.
C. twisting.
D. grinding.

6. Mathematical Knowledge (MK) - High school level math, including geometry, trigonometry, and algebra - includes 25 items that are to be completed in 24 minutes

Example:

If 50 percent of X = 66, then X = (D. is the correct answer)

A. 33.
B. 66.
C. 99.
D. 132.

7. Mechanical Comprehension (MC) - Basic mechanical and physical principles - includes 25 items to be completed in 19 minutes

Example:

Gear B is half of Gear A. If gear A makes 1 revolutions, gear B will make:

A. 2
B. 17
C. 4
D. 10

8. Electronics Information (EI) - Electronic principles, basic electronic circuitry, and electronic terminology - includes 20 items that are to be completed in 9 min and measure knowledge of electric principles and electronic terminology.

What does the abbreviation A.C. stand for?

A. additional charge.
B. alternating coil.
C. alternating current.
D. ampere current.

Answers:

  1. D
  2. C
  3. D, C
  4. C
  5. B
  6. D
  7. A
  8. C

Assembling Objects (spatial orientation). With the exception of some Navy jobs, "Assembling Objects" has not yet been incorporated into any of the Line Score calculations for military jobs, nor is it used in determining the overall ASVAB Score. At some time in the future, "Assembling Objects" will be incorporated into various line scores for certain military jobs (mostly those which require knowledge of spatial relations). This fairly new sub-test has 16 questions, and you have 9 minutes to answer them.

Basically, you get a picture with various disassembled parts and four drawings. You have to pick the drawing that shows what the parts would actually look like when assembled.

Your Scores Matter

If you do not meet the standard, you cannot join the military. Some jobs in the military require an even higher score on the ASVAB. The higher your score the better chance you have of not only enlisting in your chosen branch but also getting the MOS, Rating, or Specialty Code (aka job) you want. The minimum AFQT scores for entry into each branch, with a high school diploma, are as follows:

  • Air Force – 36
  • Army & National Guard – 31
  • Coast Guard – 40
  • Marine Corps – 32
  • Navy – 35

Without a high school diploma and holding a GED only you’ll need the following scores-

  • Air Force – 65
  • Coast Guard – 40
  • Army & National Guard – 31
  • Marine Corps – 50
  • Navy – 50

For complete information, you may wish to purchase a study guide with practice tests like the, "ASVAB for Dummies." ASVAB Guides like this one gives you an upper hand at understanding exactly what to expect when taking the ASVAB. You are coached through the different subtests, and are given plenty of practice tests too! It has been proven time and time again that preparation is key, so do yourself a favor, and put some time in preparing yourself to ACE the ASVAB!